Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wake Up, Sunshine!

Reed is absolutely adorable when he wakes up from a nap.  No gradual coming-to for our boy - he lets out a blood-curdling scream that scares me half to death when I hear it on the monitor, but when I go into the nursery and he sees me, he immediately stops screaming and starts grinning at me.  Like he was just waiting patiently for me to show up!  He's got my number.  Anyway, I taped his sweet smiles a few weeks back; here's a sample!  I've also included a few pictures of the nursery, which was finally complete when we added Reed's name in wooden letters to the wall.  We think our fella loves his room!

View from doorway
Crib - complete with sleeping baby!

Dresser and glider
Milestones frame from Vanessa Yost

Bookcase and closet

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tickle Me, Reed

Jeff has been tickling Reed since he was two weeks old, without much response, but this week - giggles galore!  Reed loves this new game and we love watching him laugh!

Monday, July 11, 2011


So, Jeff and I have been fans of the show Top Chef since the first season.  It's one of the few shows we both like and we've never missed an episode (thank you, DVR).  Of course, like any TC fan in the D.C. area, we were thrilled when homegrown Frederick, MD brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, were on season 6.  Jeff and I were big fans of Bryan from the start, and we were disappointed when he lost out to his brother in the season finale.  But since then, we've been dying to dine at Bryan's restaurant, VOLT, in Frederick.  It consistently gets rave reviews and, in addition to its regular dining room, it has two "special" dining options in the Chef's Dining Room: a six-course tasting menu and Table 21, a 21-course tasting menu.

When my parents came to visit two weeks ago, we asked them to babysit Reed and we headed out to Frederick with our good friends Jen and Dustin Simon to enjoy the six-course tasting menu in the chef's dining room.  The meal was just outstanding.  We had to wait a few minutes before being seated, and we all enjoyed drinks in the bar (I definitely enjoyed three cocktails before the night was over - my first alcohol since last July, when we found out we were expecting!).  After being seated in the kitchen, I promptly took some pictures of the scene, including one of Chef Voltaggio talking to his staff.

Diners at Table 21
Chef Voltaggio talks to one of his waitstaff
Our waiter then asked us to choose between the Kitchen Menu and the Market Vegetable Menu.  The Kitchen Menu featured meat items, whereas the Market Vegetable Menu featured (you guessed it) vegetables.  Jen, Dustin, and Jeff all selected the Kitchen Menu and I chose the vegetables.  I should have saved the menus so that I could remember each course, but I do remember that each was delicious.  We also enjoyed three canapes before the first course was served, and an amazing bread basket throughout dinner.  After the sixth course, we were treated to a plate of truffles and we each were given a piece of coffee cake in a bag to enjoy the next morning.  Very nice touch!

My one complaint with the evening was that Chef Voltaggio did not come up to each table to say hello.  I kind of feel that a greeting from him should be part of the experience.  After all, it is the Chef's Dining Room, right?  He did hang out at the table next to us for quite a while, as one of the guests (a weird European who had somehow torn the back of his shirt up the seam) asked if he could draw a portrait of the chef on a dinner plate.  After the three cocktails, I was a little tipsy and Jeff and Jen said that I was staring at Chef Voltaggio.  Whatever.  I did get this nice close-up picture of him.  Jeff and I were a little surprised at his tats, as he seemed more clean-cut on the show.

Chef talking to table of weird Europeans

Of course, I desperately wanted a picture with the chef, but was too shy to ask, so after dinner, Jen was awesome and asked one of the waitstaff if the chef could come out for a picture.  We had to wait 10 minutes or so, but he did come out and we got the shot.  A little out of focus, but proof that we were there!  He was very nice and even played along when I told him I thought he had gotten hosed and should have won his season.  His response: "So did I!".  So cool. 

We were there!

Reed is Three Months Old!

Yet another month has gone by and our big boy (literally - at 15 pounds and 25 1/4 inches, he is in the 70th percentile for weight and 84th percentile for height) is three months old!  Everyone told us that time flies when you have a baby, and they weren't kidding.  The days and weeks go by so quickly!  I plan to savor every minute of this last month I have at home with Reed, before I head back to work on August 15.  Without further ado, here are the things we want to remember about our beautiful son on his three-month birthday:
  • Reed now loves to laugh!  He particularly likes when Daddy plays the "Where's Reed?" game (putting a cloth or blanket over his eyes, then taking it off), and when Mommy makes big "Aahhhh" sounds and faces at him.
  • As noted in an earlier post, Reed discovered himself in the mirror and thinks he is just gorgeous (as do we all!).  He doesn't laugh hysterically at his own image anymore, but he does smile at himself every time we pass a mirror.
  • He started batting at objects on his activity mat and on his Rainforest bouncer chair last week and sometimes he even grabs hold of one for a few minutes.
  • Reed has definitely found his voice!  He loves to "talk" and screech, which we still find adorable (we might not find it so cute when we're on the airplane to CA next week and are getting death stares from strangers, but for now we like it).  He sometimes even seems to be having conversations with us, but we think that's more chance than anything else.
  • He takes a 6 ounce bottle of breastmilk from Jeff every morning.
  • Reed has begun trying to hold the bottle when Jeff feeds him, which has proven to be a little treacherous.  He still doesn't have great coordination and tends to hit the bottle away, rather than bring it closer.
  • He sleeps from about 8:45 p.m. to around 5:30/6:00 a.m. each night.  With the help of the pacifier, he can hang out in his crib until 6:30 a.m., when we feed him.
  • Speaking of the pacifier, Reed LOVES it.  It definitely helps soothe him before naps and bedtime, and often during the day when he's fussy.
  • Sometimes during a nursing session, in between sides he will look up at me and just stare and smile for three to five minutes.  It's like we're in our own little world.  Magical!
  • Reed really likes the taggie blanket we keep in his carseat.  It's handmade from Israel and was a gift from our friends Sara and Ron Gorfinkel.  He's now starting to hold on to it, lift it up, etc.  Very cool.
  • Over the weekend he lifted a rattle on his own and shook it for a minute.  Sadly, he hasn't done so again since, but we're waiting!
  • Reed is great at holding his head up.  He rarely needs head/neck support when we hold him and he pushes up really well when he's on his tummy.
Here's a three-month picture, as well as a few other recent faves.

Such a big boy!
Bathing beauty

Playtime with Gram

There's Reed!

Too cute

Unsure of this Grandpa character

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Yankee Doodle Boy

    Yesterday was Reed's first 4th of July and he celebrated in style!  In a very patriotic outfit courtesy of Gail and Ed Lapaz (college friends of Gram and Grandpa), Reed looked adorable.  We had our good friends Jen and Dustin Simon and Ben and Erin Willcher over for dinner, and then we headed down the street to watch the Rockville fireworks.  Reed stayed up past his bedtime and seemed enthralled with the light show. 

    This was a special weekend for Jeff and me as well - we celebrated our 3-year wedding anniversary on Sunday!  We treated ourselves to a tasty dinner at Austin Grill in Rockville Town Center (with the fella, who slept through the whole thing!) and then enjoyed some homemade spice cake (in honor of our wedding cake) at home.  Jeff got me a new hot pink iPod, which was a great gift.  I feel lucky every day to be married to my best friend, who challenges me, makes me laugh, and best of all, is the best husband and father I know.  Here's to a lifetime of happiness with you, babe! 

    And here's our little guy, in his Independence Day finest!